Thursday, February 16, 2017

Cincinnati SPJ - February 2017 Quarterly Newsletter

The Greater Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists
Newsletter, February 2017
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Improving and protecting journalism in Greater Cincinnati since 1967
Table of Contents
  • Emil Extravaganza: Recap of the Emil Dansker Celebration
  • Welcome to our new Cincinnati SPJ board members
  • Thank You, PRSA
  • Call for Hall of Fame Nominees
  • UC-SPJ Lunch with the Pros
  • Call for "Excellence in Journalism" Submissions
  • Save the Date: Region 4 Conference
  • Covering Trump, March 9 Panel Event
  • Guest Column by Jack Greiner
  • Chapter 50-Year Anniversary
  • “Truth Matters — Facts Matter” Forum
  • Save the Date: Mayoral Debate
  • Join the Society of Professional Journalists
By Tom McKee

Three score and six years ago a young student at Northwestern University decided to dedicate his life to the practice of high quality, ethical journalism.

He joined Sigma Delta Chi, the forerunner of the Society of Professional Journalists. Since then, neither the profession nor SPJ has been the same.

His name is Emil Dansker, now 86 years old and still active as a board member of the Greater Cincinnati SPJ Professional Chapter. In fact, he was one of the chapter’s founding members in 1967.

Newspapers as diverse as the Toledo Blade, Dayton Daily News and the Cincinnati Enquirer were where he applied his considerable skills with the written word.

After many successful years, Dansker turned to teaching — mentoring generations of prospective journalists at Bowling Green State University and Central State University.

He pushed students to take full advantages of opportunities to grow personally and professionally by making sure they knew they could do anything they wanted.

Dansker began a program for students to cover national political conventions. He co-produced a documentary on the coverage of the Kent State University shootings in May of 1970.

All the while he raised a family and still managed to continue to serve SPJ. His stellar work earned him a Howard Dubin Award — somewhat ironic since he and Dubin were classmates at Northwestern.

Dozens of people gathered in Cincinnati recently to pay tribute to this dedication and influence on them. Family members, long-time friends, former students and SPJ members were part of the crowd.

Person after person told story after story about Emil Dansker being a huge part of their life. When all the words had been spoken, all he could do was say, “Thanks.” He was speechless.

Causes come and causes go for people as they live their lives. Emil Dansker took up the cause of good journalism in the 1950s, is still practicing it today and will be doing it well into the future.
All photos by Ginny McCabe
SPJ Greater Cincinnati Pro Chapter welcomes Tom Demeropolis (Cincinnati Business Courier) and Corinne Minard (Cincy Magazine) as our newest board members. We are pleased to have these two Cincinnati area leaders join our distinguished team.
*     *     *
Corinne Minard joined the board in January after being a member of the chapter for the last three years. She is managing editor at Cincy Magazine and oversees DaytonNKY and Ohio Business magazines as well as the custom division. A Cincinnati native, she lived in Washington D.C.; Reno, Nev.; and Memphis, Tenn., before returning to the Tri-state. Outside of work, she spends her time watching way too many cooking shows and planning mini vacations. 
 *     *     *
Tom Demeropolis is the senior staff reporter with Cincinnati Business Courier. He received his B.A. in Journalism from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s in Journalism from Ball State University. During his time at UC, Demeropolis worked at the student newspaper, The News Record. He has won awards for his reporting from the Press Club of Cleveland and the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2014 and 2015, Demeropolis received the American Eagle Award from American City Business Journals, the company’s highest honor. He enjoys family time with his wife, Lauren, and their two children, golf, reading, baking and cooking.
*     *     *
Our board is comprised of these outstanding members:
President Tom McKee
Vice President Jenny Wohlfarth
Treasurer Hagit Limor
Secretary Ginny McCabe
Jo-Ann Albers
Emil Dansker
Tom Demeropolis
Monica Dias
Ben Goldschmidt
Carly Hagedon
Bowdeya Tweh
Maija Zummo
Corinne Minard
Tony Mastriani, Board Member Emeritus
SPJ and PRSA’s Successful Partnership in Cincinnati
By Ginny McCabe

For several years, Cincinnati SPJ and Cincinnati PRSA have partnered on annual programs, which have benefited both organizations. We have had a great response from attendees in both professions – journalism and PR.

Topics have ranged from “In the Heat of a Story: How Journalists and PR Pro’s Can Work Together,” and “The Changing Landscape of Media and PR” to our latest sold out event on February 16, “Who Has the Real Story?”

The joint events have ranged from networking events to panel discussions and educational forums at venues across the Cincinnati region including Vehr Communications, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and more.

A few of our esteemed panelists and participants have included Carrie Phillippi, Kevin Osborne, Michael Perry, Rob Pasquinucci, Tom McKee, Sharon Coolidge, Jackie Congedo and Pepper Peale, Nick Vehr, Howard Wilkinson, Erica Noble and Amanda Seitz, among others.

Cincinnati SPJ would like to extended a special “thank you” to Cincinnati PRSA, our media experts and participants for the continued partnership in furthering journalism, media and communications in our city. We look forward to working together on future events.

Visit and the latest news, updates and program details.

The event is sold out. To join the wait list go to

Story and photos by Ginny McCabe; Photos are from last year’s SPJ/PRSA joint event “In the Heat of a Story: How Journalists and PR Pro’s Can Work Together.”
Cincinnati SPJ Seeks 2017 Nominees
of Journalists for Hall of Fame
The Greater Cincinnati Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) is seeking nominations for the 2017 Class of the Greater Cincinnati Journalism Hall of Fame.

Deadline for nominations is Friday, February 24, 2017.

For details, go to:
Pictures of Last Year's HOF and contest award ceremony; Photos by Ginny McCabe 
The University of Cincinnati is hosting several journalism-related events this month in conjunction with Black History Month, including the Greater Cincinnati SPJ Pro Chapter sponsored Lunch with the Pros (for UC students) on Friday, Feb. 24, from 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. (Free pizza included!)

UC-SPJ Lunch with the Pros: “Covering Race and Community Issues”

With panelists:
  • Mark Curnutte, race and social justice reporter, The Cincinnati Enquirer
  • Angela Ingram, reporter, WKRC-Channel 12
  • Dan Yount, editor-in-chief, The Cincinnati Herald
Sponsored by the Greater Cincinnati Pro Chapter of SPJ

Date: February 24, 2017
Time: 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Location: McMicken 130
Greater Cincinnati Pro Chapter

The Greater Cincinnati Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is looking for the most outstanding work appearing in print, online and on-air during 2016 in Southwestern Ohio (Cincinnati and Dayton markets), Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana.

ENTRY DEADLINE: March 31, 2017

Entries can be made in one or more of four categories:
  • ALL-MEDIA: includes the three most significant awards the chapter presents for work done in any medium.
  • WRITTEN COMMUNICATION: covers articles appearing in a newspaper, in a magazine or posted online during 2016.
  • VISUAL COMMUNICATION: includes stories that were broadcast on a television station or appeared online during 2016.
  • AUDIO COMMUNICATION: covers material broadcast on any form of radio or produced as a podcast for online listening during 2016.


This is the most prestigious award presented by the Greater Cincinnati Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).
It’s named in memory of longtime Cincinnati Enquirer investigative reporter Gerald White. The award is presented to an individual or team for excellence in investigative reporting in any medium.

Entries will be judged on enterprise, depth of research and overall presentation.
The entry must include a one-page summary of the circumstances that prompted the story, the hurdles overcome in completing production and the impact generated by the story.

This award honors journalists in any medium who use their professional role to make an impact on people in the community.

It's named for the late Cincinnati Enquirer and Post reporter and columnist Camilla Warrick.
Entries can be the work of an individual or team and must include a written statement that details the public service value of the project and the overall impact of the work.

A free press is essential in a democracy and this award honors an individual journalist or group of journalists in any medium going to extraordinary lengths to protect the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The award recognizes excellence as journalists face constant challenges from governments, corporations or individuals trying to interrupt the free flow of information.

For a full list of contest categories and details, go to:

The contest entry form is online at:

1) Submit two copies of the entry form for each submission
2) Entries can include printouts, URL information, DVDs or CDs
3) Current SPJ member entry fee...
--$15.00 for the first entry
--$10.00 for the second entry
--$5.00 for each entry after that
4) Non SPJ member entry fee
--$25.00 per entry

NOTE: SPJ members cannot use their membership to submit entries for non-members. Each entrant must pay the appropriate entry fee.

To become an SPJ member, sign up at and be sure to designate CINCINNATI PRO CHAPTER on the form. The annual national membership dues are $75.00 and can be paid in one sum or through monthly deductions. There are no local chapter dues.

Tom McKee
Greater Cincinnati SPJ Pro Chapter
1720 Gilbert Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Region 4 Conference, Detroit
Friday, March 31 & Saturday, April 1

For tickets and information, please click here.

Professional SPJ member $60
SPJ student member $50
Professional non-SPJ $75
Student non-SPJ $65

Professional SPJ member $75
SPJ student member $60
Professional non-SPJ $95
Student non-SPJ $75

"It’s time to check out the revitalized city and its Motown/auto roots! There will be keynote speakers and workshops on improving your news gathering, reporting and writing skills. Sessions also are planned to address social media and the tools of the field. Career advisors, resume critiques and a social hour offer plenty of opportunities for networking. Registration also includes three meal events."
Save the date for this March 9 Panel Event
Covering a President of the United States has always been a challenge for journalists.

That’s proving to be extremely true with the administration of President Donald Trump.

The term “alternate facts” and statements that facts don’t support have emerged in the few short weeks since the inauguration.

To explore what best practices might be used in Presidential coverage, the Greater Cincinnati Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is sponsoring a panel discussion entitled:  “Covering The Trump Presidency:  A Primer.”

It will be held from 7:30 - 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 9, 2017, at the new offices of the Graydon Law Firm, 1800 Scripps Center, 312 Walnut Street, Downtown.

Panelists include…
  • JACK GREINER: Graydon Media Attorney 
  • KEVIN ALDRIDGE: Cincinnati Enquirer Deputy Opinion Engagement Editor 
  • CHIP MAHANEY: WCPO-TV News Director 
  • TIM BURKE: Hamilton County Democratic Party 
  • CHIP GERHARDT: Hamilton County Republican Party
The moderator will be SPJ chapter president Tom McKee.
Sign up via EventBrite if you’d like to attend:

For sponsorship opportunities or more details, contact Tom McKee at
A Remedy For Fake News?
Guest Column by Jack Greiner, Attorney, Graydon

We’ve seen growing media coverage recently about online “fake news.” These are those posts that go viral thanks to the ability of crazy relatives to hit the “share” button on Facebook.

But apparently, the phenomenon is bigger than relatives with too much time on their hands. It’s big business. I saw a report recently that a fake news writer was able to make $10,000 per month for making stuff up. I had no idea.

The business plan is pretty simple. The fake news sites are able to get display advertising on the sites, and they get a payment each time someone visits. The payment per hit is tiny, so the incentive is to draw traffic to the site. That means at least two things. First, the more outrageous the story, the more hits. That of course means more revenue. So, according to a recent Washington Post article, a fake story headlined “Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorse Donald Trump for President, Releases Statement” – a completely false story – got 100,000 shares. Even at pennies a hit, that’s decent money. Second, the fake sites benefit tremendously from being on Facebook, simply because of the ubiquity of that site.

Facebook is understandably concerned about this business model, because ultimately, it puts the credibility of Facebook in doubt. And to the extent Facebook wants people to perceive it as a news site, that’s a large problem. Facebook is taking steps to crack down on the practice, but I wonder if it will get some help from the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC has the authority to prevent “deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” Fake news presents a bit of a complication. To the extent the fake news is being pushed out simply to advance a political agenda, it’s not really “commerce.” But when the fake news is being used to lure eye balls to advertising sites, and the purveyors are cashing in, it starts to sound a lot less like “politics” and a lot more like commerce.

The FTC has weighed in on this subject at least once. In a 2013, proceeding, the FTC shut down a site printing fake “news” about the health benefits of Acai berries. There, the connection was more direct – the fake news was about the product being sold. But does it matter? If someone is churning out made up content to draw eyeballs to pump up ad revenue, it sounds deceptive to me. I’m not sure there needs to be much more.

And it’s not like this is a victimless crime. To what extent were voters swayed by total BS posing as legitimate “news”? And I’m not talking about differences of opinion here. I’m talking about lies knowingly made for no reason other than to line some troll’s pocket. Facebook certainly has incentive to shut this “industry” down, but if the FTC can lend a hand, so much the better.

Read this article and check out other new content on Cincinnati SPJ's website.
By Tom McKee 

Break out the cake.

Top it with 50 candles.

Let’s celebrate.

That’s right. The Greater Cincinnati Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is 50 years old.

The board is planning a luncheon for late September or early October at a site to be determined. There’s talk of bringing in a well-known speaker to add to the festivities.

That’s where our chapter members come in.

Where would you like to see it held? Who would you like the speaker to be? Who should be invited?

Let chapter president Tom McKee know via e-mail at

The national organization was all-male and called Sigma Delta Chi in that founding year of 1967.

Emil Dansker was one of the founding fathers and he’s still a board member five decades later.

Robert Webb was the first president, William Styles was the original vice-president and Curtis Linke took on the duties of secretary/treasurer.

Others were a who's who of Cincinnati journalism at the time:
  • David Altemuehle - CG&E Communications Director
  • Brady Black - Cincinnati Enquirer Editor
  • Caden Blincoe - freelance journalist
  • Paul Campbell 
  • Neil Collins
  • Albert Colegrove
  • Emil Dansker - Cincinnati Enquirer reporter; BGSU & CSU Instructor
  • Walter Gray
  • Richard Gordon - Cincinnati Post reporter 
  • Harold Harrison - AP Bureau Chief
  • A.H. Huenke 
  • Herald Latham
  • George Lecky - Cincinnati Post reporter
  • Eugene Moore
  • James Muers
  • George Pieiffer
  • Henry Segal - Editor & Publisher, Cincinnati Israelite
  • Simeon Shaddix
  • Robert Stewart - retired from P&G and Pinger PR
  • Alan Stout 
  • Vance Trimble - Kentucky Post Editor 
  • Arlo Wagner
  • Edward Warner, Jr.
  • Robert Weston - Cincinnati Enquirer reporter 
  • Warren Wheat - USA Today Editorial Writer 
  • John Wolf
Just like those individuals, the efforts of today’s journalists in fighting for freedom of the press and defending the First Amendment are more important than ever.

The media business has permanently changed, no matter whether it’s print, magazine, online, radio or television. People get their news on multiple platforms right away.

That challenges news organizations to create new and different content, which can light the pathway of journalism well into the future.

One final note — if you’re reading this and you are not an SPJ member or member of the Greater Cincinnati Pro Chapter, just go to and follow the membership instructions.
For sponsorship opportunities or more details, contact Tom McKee at
By Tom McKee 

If you open a dictionary, you’re not likely to find the term “alternate facts.”

Yet, it’s a reality brought forth in the early days of the administration of President Donald Trump.

The term was actually used by a White House official within days of the inauguration.

Does that serve the public? Does it damage the First Amendment? How are journalists reacting to it?

Those questions form the foundation of a panel discussion called “Truth Matters — Facts Matter” on Thursday, March 23, 2017.  

The program will run from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. at the National Voice of America (VOA) Museum in West Chester.

It’s co-sponsored by the Greater Cincinnati Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the board of the National VOA Museum.

Panelists will include print, online and broadcast journalists from Greater Cincinnati media outlets.

They will discuss why real news matters, the dangers of fake news, why a free press is important in a democracy and how does someone determine what is fake news.

Admission is $10.00 per person with the funds going to support the museum and its programs.
By Tom McKee 

What a year 2016 was in politics with the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

What a year 2017 will be in the Queen City as voters elect a new mayor.

There are three declared candidates right now and the race shows signs of being extremely competitive.
  • John Cranley - Incumbent
  • Yvette Simpson - Cincinnati City Council Member
  • Rob Richardson - Attorney 
The Greater Cincinnati SPJ Pro Chapter is working with all three candidates on an April debate.

Details have yet to be worked out, such as the date, time and location.

Partners are being contacted to help distribute the information as widely as possible to voters so they can make informed choices at the polls.
For sponsorship opportunities or more details, contact Tom McKee at
Interested in becoming member of the Society of Professional Journalists? For more information, visit SPJ's website.
Newsletter Staff

Managing Editors
Ginny McCabe, Carly Hagedon
Assistant Editors
Tom McKee, Ben Goldschmidt
Copyright © 2017, Greater Cincinnati Society of Professional Journalists. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
SPJ Greater Cincinnati
C/O Tom McKee, WCPO
1720 Gilbert Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45202